German Grand Prix winner Marc Marquez says he’s very aware just how important this weekend’s victory at the Sachsenring was in the defence of his MotoGP world championship, after taking control of the series for the first time this season.
He rode a masterclass of a race to maintain the gap to chasing home favourite Jonas Folger, extending his lead over the German in the closing laps of the race to deliver a knockout blow not only to Folger but also to his championship rivals.
“I’m very, very happy. I knew before the weekend that this was an important moment in the Championship and that the Sachsenring was an important circuit for us. It was the place to take a risk if necessary and to try to win. So I’m happy we took these 25 points and the lead in the championship before the summer break.
“The race was very tight. Honestly, before the start I thought I would have to battle with Dani, but actually there was also another very fast opponent. I was very surprised at the beginning to see Jonas there, and I thought he might stay in between with the other riders, but he actually remained there! He was quite a tough opponent!”
But while most of the paddock are now heading for a four-week summer break, Marquez admitted that there’ll be less time off for him and teammate Dani Pedrosa as they prepare for a refreshed push come the resumption of hostilities in August.
“The championship is very close with four riders within ten points and with Dani also not far away. Everything is open, so we’ll keep the same mentality, the same positivity and hard work. Now we have a few days of holidays, but not too much to be ready for Brno test!”
The reigning world champion also too took time out after the race to dedicate the victory to former teammate Nicky Hayden, admitting that he had promised his first win to the former world champion after his tragic death in a cycling accident last month.
“I wish to dedicate this win to Nicky and his family. I had promised this to myself after his incident because we had some very good moments together and he was a friend.”
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